The Associated Press wants a Pennsylvania judge to open up his inquiry into grand jury leaks from a casino owner’s perjury case, in an ongoing matter that has so far seen more than a dozen subpoenas of reporters sent out, and then quashed.
In a motion filed Friday to intervene, the AP reports it argued against Dauphin County Judge Todd Hoover’s "wholesale sealing of the proceedings." Hoover was directed by the state Supreme Court to look into leaks from the grand jury inquiry that led to perjury charges against casino owner Louis DeNaples. Hoover was to decide whether a special prosecutor should be assigned to look deeper into the leaks.
Since then, the AP says, Hoover has sealed transcripts of his closed hearings and an opinion he wrote — "virtually every document in the case since early June." The wire service pointed out in its motion that the Supreme Court, in ordering up Hoover’s probe, never directed that it be done in secret.
"If Hoover decides some material should remain sealed — to protect either grand jury information that is still secret or the defendants’ right to a fair trial," the AP says, describing its lawyers’ argument, "the judge should explain his reasoning on the record."
Fifteen reporters were sent subpoenas earlier this summer to testify as part of the judge’s inquiry. Hoover ultimately threw out the subpoenas.